How the people around the world celebrate Christmas
We all know Christmas as this great family holiday; Christmas trees, snowmen, presents, and roasted turkeys, but there are all sorts of weird Christmas traditions from all over the world that you may not know about.
Have you heard of Santa’s evil twin? Well, in Austria he’s well known as Krampus. On December 5th, also known as Krampus night, men dress up as scary as possible and wander the streets hitting people with sticks. The whole point of this is to punish the bad and misbehaved children. That’s called Christmas spirit.
If you’re single in the Czech Republic you can do a little trick on Christmas Eve to predict your marital status for the next year; here’s how: You stand with your back to the door and throw a shoe over your shoulder, if it lands with the heel facing the door then, sorry, but it won’t be happening for you this year. But if it lands with the toes facing the door, congrats girls, do you hear the wedding bells yet?
You might want to hide your brooms, as well. On Christmas Eve, in Norway, there is an old tradition to hide all the brooms in the house, because it is believed that witches and evil spirits come out and look to steal your broom to ride in the sky. To scare them away men go outside their houses and fire shotguns.
It might have started as an act of vandalism but now it’s a great tradition and it comes from Sweden. In the town of Gavle, there is a giant goat made out of straws. People disguise themselves as Santa or elves so they can get past by the guards and burn down the goat. This must be done before Christmas Day. But be careful if you get caught you will be faced with severe fines and even prison time. Since 2005, 4 people have been convicted.
Going all the way to South America is a tradition from Venezuela, and more specifically Caracas, the capital of Venezuela. On Christmas Eve morning all the roads are closed for vehicles and people go to church by skates, as they don’t have snow, it’s probably a good substitute for a sled ride.
Why bother roasting a turkey, mashing potatoes, baking cakes and pies when you can go straight to KFC. That’s right, THIS is a tradition, in Japan, at least. This has started as a marketing trick created by the company, but now people should make their reservations for a bucket months before Christmas and if not they should be prepared to wait in line for a loooong time.
If you ever find yourself looking at a Christmas tree decorated with spiders and cobwebs you must be somewhere near Ukraine, because Ukrainians have an interesting tradition of decorating their trees with spider webs. This custom goes way back to a legend about a poor woman who could not afford to decorate the Christmas tree, and when the whole family woke up on Christmas morning the tree was covered with webs. When the first lights of the morning sun hit the tree they all turned into gold and silver. Pretty magical, don’t you think?
All kids know they shouldn’t play with their food. But once a year, on Christmas day, everything is allowed. The British for instance make Christmas pudding, but do you know the secret ingredient? Every member of the family takes turn stirring the mix clockwise while making a wish. Some families put a coin in the pudding and whoever finds it will be blessed with health and wealth. This is very similar to a tradition in Bulgaria, where families bake Christmas bread and hide a coin in it. The eldest of the family should spin the bread a couple of times and everyone takes a piece, whoever finds the coin will be blessed throughout the whole year.
Do you have any interesting traditions in your country? Share them with us in the comment section below, or comment on our Facebook or Twitter so we can all celebrate together.
Merry Christmas, everyone!!!!
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